“Quick, cheap, good: pick two” – Translation for dummies

Dear followers,Image

today’s post is dedicated to clients and other people who don’t know exactly what are the implications of a translation.

And generally, those kinds of people are the same who, per say, expect to have the Masterpiece delivered in one hour, and ideally, in exchange of a few pennies.

The aim of this post is to incept ,with some of my brilliant wit (ha ha.), a different idea and a better perspective of our (yes, the translators) job which cannot be quick, cheap and good at the same time, and I’m more than happy to explain you why with some nice examples:

Quick and good (and not cheap). Imagine you commission this beautiful and skilled translator (me) to translate a 5000 words engineering project, and imagine you need it within one day. Now, imagine this poor girl (me) reading your project, printing it, uploading it in a CAT tool. Imagine her research to adopt the best contextual translation, which in certain cases it may mean hours and hours of word search. Keep in mind she is a translator, and not a vocabulary, so it is absolutely normal what she does. Imagine the amount of coffee she needs to avoid falling asleep. After 6-7-8 hours non stop, the translation is finally completed at the speed of light. But she hasn’t finished yet. She needs to print the file and proofread it. More coffee, eyes are red. Do you really want to underpay such a long and strenuous job? I mean, you need a translation to be delivered in 24 hours, and you expect a high quality work, and it’s okay…But…Do you know that employers get paid for extraordinary hours? So do translators. 🙂

 Cheap and Good (and not quick). Same scenario as before. You can’t or you don’t want to pay that much money. In that case, if you really want to stick with your budget, don’t, really, don’t ask for absurd deadlines. Give us more time, even a longer deadline than the estimate one. You won’t like to be pressured in exchange of a few pennies, will you?

Quick and cheap (and not good). What more can I say? Would you care spending money, health and time to proofread or find the most perfect translation for such a deal? I don’t, sorry. Unless you’re asking me to translate one single sentence. In that case, I might take the trouble of double checking for that.

I hope this will clear things out a little. Just put yourselves in our shoes, that would be great if you’re looking for a translator. If you’re looking for slaves tomatoes instead, I’m sure you’ll find plenty in the black food market :p

Cheer up guyz!



Ps. Check also the Italian version of this post, translated by the talented Sheireen! Go to Sheireen’s Words


3 thoughts on ““Quick, cheap, good: pick two” – Translation for dummies

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